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Juggling Family, Household and Work

Bunyaad artisans Arshad, Mustaq and family

Let Me Introduce: Arshad

Arshad, usually called by her nickname Bebe, and her family live in the village of Darianwala located approximately six miles from the Indian border in Northeast Pakistan.

Arshad and her husband Mustaq have been working for Bunyaad for the past five years (since 2009). Prior to joining Bunyaad the family had been drifting from place to place in hopes of finding work that would support the entire family. As a woman working outside the home would not have been acceptable for Arshad and so the challenge of providing for the entire family rested on Mustaq’s shoulders.

How does a family in rural Pakistan make ends meet when jobs are scarce and mostly seasonal?

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A Quilt and a Kazak Living in Perfect Harmony

When I walked into the home of Gill and Dave my eyes went straight to the quilt on the wall in the living room. I love symmetry and vibrant, yet harmonious color combinations and this quilt was a perfect example showcasing both. What made the quilt stand out even more though was the Tribal Kazak sitting almost underneath as part of a cozy sitting area.

As an artist, Gill is drawn to handmade, finely crafted products. Even before moving to the US many years ago she had discovered Bunyaad Rugs online and searched our extensive inventory for the perfect rug for her new home. She appreciates how much care is put into each rug and delights in exploring design details and how they will work with her furniture pieces and other art work.

As your eyes travel around the room…

World Fair Trade Day – Why Should We Care, What Does it Mean for Us?
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World Fair Trade Day – Why Should We Care, What Does it Mean for Us?

bunyaad rug artisan family at the loom

World Fair Trade Day (WFTD) recognizes and celebrates the impact of fair trade relationships around the world. The first World Fair Trade Day was established by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and celebrated on the second Saturday in May, 2002. Since then fair traders all over the world, including Fair Trade Federation (FTF) members, have celebrated WFTD on the second Saturday in May each year. This year, WFTD is on Saturday, May 9.

Bunyaad is a recognized leader in fairly traded handmade rugs from Pakistan and we’ve been practicing fair trade since the 1960’s when Chaman Masih began working with just a few rug making families. Fair trade was not even part of the language back then. As time went along, Bunyaad joined forces with Ten Thousand Villages and the business of fairly traded rugs grew substantially. Just this year, Bunyaad became a member of the Fair Trade Federation and officially joined the North American and worldwide family of fair trade.

So, why should we care about World Fair Trade Day? I think there are four main reasons:

Knot Brothers, The Movie

We talk a lot about how every knot in a Bunyaad rug is tied by hand but we were recently reminded that we don’t often talk about HOW every knot is tied.
Our rugs use primarily two types of knots: the Senna knot and the Turkish knot.

The Senna knot is an asymmetrical knot and is used in the majority of our rugs, from Persians to Chobi tribals. It is virtually formed with a figure 8 around two warp threads.

The Turkish knot is also tied around two warp threads but instead of a figure 8, it is a knot where both ends of the wool come out together instead of on either side of one warp thread, like the Senna knot.

Confused yet? Let us show you how these knots are tied, as only our staff can… with a little movie.


Fair Trade Connections, Inspiration and Soapy Fun at Annual FTF Conference

FTF-Annual-Conference-imageBunyaad staff Jenni, Yousaf and Doug with four-year-old sidekick Nouraiz joined 250 other fair traders for the annual Fair Trade Federation Conference (FTF) in Del Mar, California from March 24-26. Since Bunyaad just joined the FTF a few weeks ago, this was our first FTF conference. Del Mar is just a short drive north of San Diego so we enjoyed the bonus of warm, sunny weather in addition to meeting many new fair trade friends.

FTF-Annual-Conference-bronnersBefore the conference meetings started, we were treated to a very informative and entertaining tour of the Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap factory. Dr. Bronner’s has committed to sourcing fair trade and organic ingredients for all of its products and has an exemplary record of commitment to fair labor practices and protection of the environment. All of the employees we met spoke glowingly about the company. It was obvious that they enjoy working at Dr. Bronner’s. Before we left, a number of tour members got to hose down one of the Dr. Bronner’s employees with Magic Soap suds – one of the fun extra-circular activities used by Dr. Bronner’s to generate publicity. Dr. Bronner’s is a member of the FTF and the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), and, since their annual sales are approaching $100 million, they are one of the largest members.